A lovely comforting dish, this pork casserole is cooked slowly with cider and stock in the oven. It's finished off with a good splash of cream and a sprinkling of crispy bacon lardons.
I love to serve it with creamy mashed potato for a dinner that has everyone asking for seconds!
This is my kind of Friday night dinner when it's been raining and miserable all day and you just want something really tasty to warm you up from the inside.
I'd contentedly scoff every bit of this dish, but that sauce over mashed potatoes? Yes, I could eat that for the rest of my life and not get bored.
The meat is browned and then slow cooked with stock and cider until lovely and tender. I like to chuck a few veggies in - just to make it a little bit healthier, and then it's served on creamy mashed potatoes, and finished off with crispy fried bacon lardons or pancetta.
Sometimes referred to as Somerset Pork casserole (which is generally made using a dry Somerset cider, and with the addition of apples in the sauce - this is my version of Somerset Pork Casserole) or Normandy Pork (made using french cider or brandy, apples, crème fraîche and bacon lardons, sometimes dijon mustard too), I like to pick a few flavours from both. So for me it's:
- Dry cider (alcoholic version)
- Cream rather than crème fraîche (sometimes crème fraîche can split, so I prefer to use cream - make sure it's double/heavy cream though - the higher the fat content, the less likely it is to split.)
- Crispy bacon lardons - Often these are crisped up, then cooked in the casserole with the pork, but I prefer to sprinkle them on at the end so they retain all the crispy saltiness.
- I sometimes make it with apple slices. If you do, just add them for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking so they don't go mushy.
📋 What do we need?
- I use pork shoulder steaks because they have a little bit of fat running through them - which keeps the pork lovely and tender. Cut off any large sections of fat, then slice the rest into bite-size chunks
- You can also use a boneless pork shoulder joint and chop into bite-size chunks if you prefer.
- Cider - this is alcoholic dry cider. You can replace with dry apple juice or a mixture of dry apple juice and stock (in addition to the rest of the stock in the recipe) if you prefer.
- Mushrooms - use your favourite. I like chestnut mushrooms, as they have a nice flavour.
- Bacon - you can use lardons/diced-pancetta, or chopped up streaky bacon.
📺 Watch how to make it
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
👩🍳PRO TIP Rather than adding the cooked bacon lardons in the dish, sprinkle them on at the end. This helps them to retain their salty crispness. The heat of the casserole will warm them back up if they've cooled too much.
So long as you're mopping up that lovely sauce with something - that's the main thing. You really don't want that sauce to go to waste!
This pork casserole is a really good meal to make ahead and then reheat later. It's also great when you're cooking for lots of people - a large batch that everyone can spoon out onto their plates is ideal. Plus it's easily made gluten free too (using gluten-free stock and cider).
🍲 More fantastic Pork recipes
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Creamy Slow Cooked Pork Casserole
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 500 g (1.1 lbs) diced pork shoulder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp celery salt - optional – I find it adds a nice savoury flavour
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped
- 12 baby mushrooms - chopped in half
- 2 carrots - peeled and chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry cider - hard cider if you're in the USA
- 420 ml (1+¾ cups) chicken or vegetable stock - water + 2 stock cubes is fine
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 150 g (½ cup) bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 3 tbsp cold water
- 60 ml (¼ cup) double (heavy) cream
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- mashed potatoes
- steamed kale or other green veg
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F (fan).
- Heat 1 ½ tbsp of the oil in a large casserole dish, over a high heat, until hot.2 tbsp sunflower oil
- Add the pork, salt, pepper and celery salt and brown on all sides - it should take around 6-8 minutes.500 g (1.1 lbs) diced pork shoulder, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp celery salt
- Turn the heat down to medium and add in the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion softens.1 onion
- Add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes.12 baby mushrooms
- Add the carrots, cider, stock, and dried thyme. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Stir and scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.2 carrots, 250 ml (1 cup) dry cider, 420 ml (1+¾ cups) chicken or vegetable stock, ½ tsp dried thyme
- Place a lid on the pan, and place in the oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours*, until the pork flakes apart when you press it with a fork. Check a couple of times during the last hour of cooking and add a splash of water or stock if it's starting to look a little dry.
- Just before the casserole comes out of the oven, heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon lardons until crispy. Turn off the heat.150 g (½ cup) bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
- Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken, if needed.1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 3 tbsp cold water
- Stir in the cream. Taste and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle on the bacon lardons.60 ml (¼ cup) double (heavy) cream
- Serve with green veg on top of mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on a little chopped parsley before serving.2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley, mashed potatoes, steamed kale or other green veg
This recipe was first published in March 2017. Updated June 2022 with some new photos, video and some housekeeping.
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In order to make this Creamy Slow Cooked Pork Casserole recipe you will need:
- A good Kitchen knife. I have recently bought this Dalstrong one and love it.
- Chopping Board
- Casserole pan
- Measuring Spoons
- A frying pan/skillet
- Wooden or Silicon Coated Spoons. We have just bought these and love them.
- Potato Ricer HINT: Using a potato ricer makes the smoothest mash potato you will every taste. I recommend getting one!